News / Africa

Ivory Coast Youth Sign Up for Gbagbo Army

Youth supporters of Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo gather at a stadium at army headquarters to sign up for military service in Abidjan, March 21, 2011
Youth supporters of Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo gather at a stadium at army headquarters to sign up for military service in Abidjan, March 21, 2011
Anne Look

Ivory Coast is teetering closer and closer to a return to civil war, as Laurent Gbagbo continues to cling to power nearly four months after a presidential election that the United Nations and much of the international community say he lost to rival, Alassane Ouattara.

Thousands of pro-Gbagbo youth waited outside army headquarters in Abidjan Monday morning to join the nation's military, which has been involved in heavy fighting with forces loyal to Mr. Ouattara.

They are responding to a call to enlist from Charles Ble-Goude, leader of militant group The Young Patriots, who has been accused of inciting attacks against civilians and U.N. peacekeepers.

Addressing a Young Patriots rally Saturday, Ble-Goude asks the youth of the country if they are ready to join the army to serve their country to which the crowd responds, shouting "We want to free Ivory Coast!"

The United Nations says 30 civilians were killed in a mortar attack Thursday on a market in Abobo, a pro-Ouattara neighborhood of Abidjan that has become a focal point of violence.

U.N. Human Rights chief, Navi Pillay, says those shelling attacks by forces loyal to Gbagbo may amount to crimes against humanity.

Gbagbo's government denies any involvement in that attack, saying the United Nations mission in Ivory Coast is not credible because it is backing pro-Ouattara rebels.

The United Nations says 435 people have been killed and another 450,000 forced from their homes since the crisis began.

Thousands fleeing the violence in Abidjan gathered at its main bus station Sunday. Weighed down by suitcases full of whatever belongings they could carry, many had to push and shove their way  onto crowded buses.

Standing in a bus shelter, civil servant, Adama Diawara, says they are leaving Abidjan now. He says with the mortars falling on them, on their roofs, day and night, they don't know what to do. He says they are tired and the international community must help them.

Ticket sellers were taking advantage of the situation by buying up bus tickets and then charging double.

Aicha Diabate says they've been waiting since the day before yesterday and only just managed to get a ticket for 2 a.m. She says now they cannot get into the bus to Bouake because people who do not have tickets are paying the driver extra to get on.

The heaviest fighting has taken place in Abidjan, but clashes have also taken place in the country's troubled West, where northern rebels loyal to Ouattara have pushed south.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs